A question I received: I’ve heard you say that everything which I think exists outside of me are actually my inner desires. However, I see a particular picture of the world on the outside, so how is it that I’m supposed to connect this picture to my desires?
My Answer: Don’t start doing this under any circumstances! When you cross the street for example, you shouldn’t be thinking that the cars passing by exist inside you, or that all this is a game of the imagination – not at all! This is why Kabbalists wrote The Book of Zohar, which is a special book.
All textbooks contain exercises in addition to explanations. Well, The Book of Zohar is a collection of exercises as well. While reading this book, we need to constantly imagine that everything written in it exists inside of us, and to search for all these desires and qualities in us.
“Reading” The Book of Zohar means imagining everything that it describes as a world which exists inside us. Then the right perception of reality will come to us naturally. Yet, for the time being, we are only reading The Book of Zohar with a desire to feel and understand it inside us.
The Book of Zohar tells us about Cohens and Levites, about Aaron and Moses, about the Creator and creation, about various qualities, the Sefirot, the Partzufim, about a donkey and a bull, and so on. Instead of these items, we must picture only our inner qualities and nothing else. There is no person – our body does not exist.
There is no world or anything at all because everything has disappeared. So what is there? There is the desire and the book that describes what exists in our desire. However, this book uses names and titles that confuse us, since they rouse feelings from this imaginary world in us. We leave this whole world behind and don’t wish to think about it; it is as though we are hanging in midair and are made only of a desire.
However, these names remind us of our world. And through our effort to imagine only our inner desires and qualities instead of these names, we draw the Light that Reforms (or the Surrounding Light) to ourselves. Through this effort we begin to reveal our point in the heart (our desire, the embryo of the soul), and then to expand it. Suddenly we begin to make out the different qualities which The Book of Zohar tells us about, as well as the connection between them.
This takes time. However, after a few months of training, we begin to feel a sensory response to every word written in The Book of Zohar, such as “Aaron,” “The Temple,” and so on. As if out a fog, from complete lack of knowledge and feeling, things suddenly begin to be elucidated and we start to feel the connection between them and to understand what they signify. From a point, we begin to reveal a whole desire where all these parts exist in an interconnection.
This is how we reveal the whole of creation instead of this illusory picture currently illustrated in us, which blocks the true reality. Consequently, this false picture will vanish altogether. Therefore in its entirety, The Book of Zohar is a collection of exercises which we perform with every word that is written in it, helping us to identify the corresponding quality within.